New development in fixing-scandal in Spanish football

According to the judge investigating match-fixing in Spain, the final-day victory 2:0 against Valladolid that secured Valencia’s place in the Champions League was prearranged by a criminal gang and up to seven players from the losing side. Extracts from the investigation were published in the newspaper El Mundo, the 2nd largest digital newspaper published in Spanish.

Both goals in the match came as a result of defensive errors from Valladolid players, with Santi Mina assisting Carlos Soler for the 1st goal after Valladolid’s Kiko Olivas was caught in possession on the edge of his own box. A similar error led to Valencia doubling their lead when sloppy play from Yoel Rodriguez and Ruben Alcaraz allowed Dani Parejo to provide Rodrigo with a simple finish.

Former footballer Carlos Arand is suspected of being the leader of the conspiracy. According to El Mundo, he was caught on tape outlining the result required and claiming that seven players had been bought. “Look, Valencia wins the first half and the second, okay?” is one of his lines quoted by the newspaper.

The list of players involved includes the former Real Madrid and Leeds United defender Raúl Bravo and Valladolid captain Borja Fernández. Both have met in a bar during the buildup to the final game of the season, and Fernández then set up a meeting with a number of his teammates. Aranda, Bravo and Fernandez all have been released on bail after being charged with corruption in sport and other crimes.

Prosecutors believe that this was driven by gambling, not the interests of the clubs. The initial investigation began when the league alerted to suspicious betting patterns at the end of last season in the second division. Now the investigation has expanded to include this highly significant first‑division match.

There is no suggestion that Valencia players were involved.

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